Suburbanite Bowl in Westmont was a flurry of strikes, spares, high-fives, and impromptu dance parties on the morning of December 2, when SEASPAR partnered with St. Francis Xavier School of La Grange for a special bowling event for people with disabilities.
Fifty-nine sixth-grade students and 28 chaperones from St. Francis Xavier teamed up with 80 adults with disabilities participating in programs with SEASPAR, Little Friends of Downers Grove, and Lily Cache Special Recreation Association of Bolingbrook, for a few leisurely games of bowling. The students assisted participants with tasks from selecting balls to setting up ramps for players in wheelchairs to – most importantly – cheering on their new friends.
“Fun would be a small way to describe the bowling day,” said 11-year-old student Avarie Bernstein. “It was great to do something for others and I enjoyed seeing how much fun they were having.”
The bowling event is just one aspect of an eight-year partnership between SEASPAR and St. Francis Xavier. Each year since 2008, SEASPAR has visited the school for an Ability Awareness program for the sixth-grade class, educating the students about interacting with people with disabilities through activities such as wheelchair basketball and sign language practice.
In turn, the students, along with their parents and teachers, regularly volunteer at SEASPAR programs. This fall, St. Francis Xavier students assisted with not only the bowling event, but also SEASPAR’s Holiday Spectacular, Turkey Shoot, Fit N’ Fuel, Strikers, and Alley Cats programs.